Posted by Schaefer's Canal House on 12/23/2014
The idea of living on a floating home, or a houseboat, has a romantic notion to it. It seems like you can lift your anchor, move to any other place on Earth at any time, and take your whole home with you. In reality, things are never that easy. If you live on a floating home this water bohemianism is not even possible. Still, like any other living arrangement, living on water has its advantages, and it does come with a drawback, or a few, of its own.
First, if youíre really considering living on water, you should learn the distinction between houseboats and floating homes. Houseboats are what their name says they are - boats you can live on, meaning you can actually take them to the sea, ocean, lake, river, canal, or any other type of water surface - they are seaworthy. Floating homes are simply homes built on water, and although they can be towed, they canít move on their own.
Now, the pros of living on water. You can move your house more easily, as long as you find a good marina, or a suitable spot to put the anchor down. Depending on where you dock, a houseboat can be considered a personal property, or not a property at all for the purposes of levying taxes. So, if you choose wisely, you can end up not paying any tax for your home at all. Many places where people living on water tend to congregate form strong communities, which is something that might be appealing to you. Or, if itís not, you can find a spot all for yourself. Youíll have a great view from your home nobody can block.
If you want to live on a houseboat all year around, youíll probably want to move to a warmer climate, because winters on the water can be really tough. Youíll have to find a suitable marina for long term living, if you donít plan to spend a lot of fuel to keep your home appliances running. And not every city has a marina thatís suitable for living - it will be easier for you to pack and move, but youíll have fewer choices of places to go. And then thereís water sickness. If youíre really sensitive to it, you can say goodbye to living on water, as this is not something you can get accustomed to. If you own a car, youíll probably have to take a little walk to it whenever you plan to use it - houseboats and floating homes donít have built in garages.
Itís easy to see that living on water isnít really everyoneís cup of tea. With cons outweighing the advantages, an average person might find it too inconvenient to live on water. Still, if youíre one of the people that wish they were born with gills, or if youíre looking into alternative lifestyles or living arrangements, living on water is definitely an option you should look into. It can be exciting and adventurous, while in same time you donít have to give up any advantages living in civilization carries.